Niv: The Authorised Biography of David Niven

By Graham Lord

For greater than 40 years, Niven portrayed on monitor the impeccable values of a misplaced breed of English gents - good-looking, superbly spoken, elegantly dressed, witty, with excellent manners and completely fascinating. Niv, in response to his acquaintances, was once a lot an identical off-screen. either women and men have been enchanted through his air of secrecy, humour and joie-de-vivre. as well as profitable an Oscar for Separate Tables (1958), Niven used to be a refined author, and released volumes of lighthearted autobiography: THE MOON'S A BALLOON (1972) and produce at the EMPTY HORSES (1975). but in the back of these twinkling eyes, Niv's existence was once punctuated by way of tragedy and he was once usually deeply unsatisfied. From the dying of his father while Niven used to be 5, to his mother's overlook and the stepfather he loathed, via to the loss of life of his cherished first spouse and his unstable and nerve-racking marriage to his moment spouse, Hjordis, tragedy and hassle have been by no means far-off. Graham Lord, utilizing new fabric from Niven's inner most papers, manuscripts, unpublished tales and correspondence, has written a clean, revealing, humorous and poignant portrait of a courageous and outstanding guy. totally accredited by means of Niven's relations and drawing from dozens of interviews with stars, from Lauren Bacall to Roger Moore and Sir John generators, NIV: the accepted Biography of David Niven is a becoming tribute to 1 of Hollywood's maximum heroes.

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Goldwyn even coached his son Sammy to disappointed the backgammon board ‘accidentally’ if he used to be wasting. in the course of one online game among Goldwyn and Marx, Sammy knocked the board over thrice. Marx took the boy out of the room, back 5 mins later, and the sport proceeded with no interruption. ‘How did you do it? ’ requested Goldwyn, inspired. ‘I taught him to masturbate,’ acknowledged Marx. in the course of outside events at Goldwyn’s attractive domestic in Laurel approach up within the hills he have been recognized to stalk again into the home after a row with considered one of his site visitors, locking all of them out within the backyard and insisting that his butler should still deliver all of the beverages inside of too. yet he will be dignified and thoughtful, and was once hugely trendy and revered for his film-making genius, even through his apprehensive employees. He used to be at center a type guy, often an ideal and beneficiant host who was once continually dressed immaculately, cherished his spouse Frances, and was once defined by means of Niv in his publication approximately Hollywood, bring forth the Empty Horses, as ‘like crème brûlée – rock challenging at the outdoors and unusually tender underneath’. As Alva Johnston wrote in 1937 in a boldly autonomous ebook approximately him, the good Goldwyn, describing his unexpected switches of temper: ‘A break up moment separates Ivan the bad from Mr Pickwick. ’ primarily, Goldwyn was once obsessed by way of videos, totally dedicated to making caliber movies, and popular for his commitment and his magical ‘Goldwyn Touch’, which ensured that each movie he made used to be within the better of style and made to the top criteria in order that he may be pleased with them. He may pay a fortune to obtain the motion picture rights within the correct ebook and to rent the easiest writers and administrators, and he may throw a fortune away to reshoot a movie that used to be no longer turning out the best way he sought after. the former 12 months he were so unsatisfied with the 1st model of his movie Nana that he scrapped it and commenced another time, wasting $411,000. Goldwyn was once so engrossed in each tiny element of film-making that he talked to himself, did not hearken to others and will be very forgetful. ‘He as soon as forgot his birthday,’ Niv informed Michael Parkinson in 1981, ‘but while he acquired domestic his spouse Frances met him on the door, advised him it was once his birthday, blindfolded him, led him into the eating room and left him there whereas she went to talk to the prepare dinner within the kitchen. whereas he used to be within the eating room he used to be jam-packed with wind, allow it pass, and took his coat off and flapped it approximately. Frances got here again, took off his blindfold, and thirty-two humans have been sitting down for dinner! ’ Goldwyn additionally had difficulty remembering people’s names and stored calling his unlucky ecu PR guy, Euan Lloyd, ‘Urine Lloyd’. simply because he used to be so robust and overbearing humans took their revenge by means of joking approximately him, relatively approximately his vibrant use of the English language. whilst he resigned from one organization he instructed them: ‘Gentlemen, contain me out. ’ He as soon as reacted to an offer by means of replying, ‘In phrases: im-possible. ’ His Goldwynisms turned mythical: ‘a verbal agreement isn’t definitely worth the paper it’s written on’; ‘anyone who is going to a psychiatrist must have his head examined’; ‘what we want now could be a few new, clean clichés’; ‘we’ve all handed loads of water when you consider that these days’; ‘these administrators are consistently biting the hand that lays the golden egg’; ‘you’re continually taking the bull among the teeth’.

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